The (Storeng KT, 2010) The primary cause of death

The World Health Organization (WHO)
defines maternal death as the death of a woman who is pregnant, or after 42
days of a termination of her pregnancy, regardless of the duration and location
of the pregnancy. Death has happened due to, or made worse by, the pregnancy or
its management but not from accidental or incidental causes. (WHO, 2004)

Defining maternal health has typically
been measured against the level of maternal mortality. Countries use maternal
mortality rates (MMR) as an analytic of improvement and progression in maternal
health. However even with this as a measure, the problem of maternal mortality is
only a small portion compared to the burden of maternal morbidity. For every
woman who dies of pregnancy related issues, twenty to thirty more experience acute
or chronic illness, often with permeant decline in physical, mental or sexual
health and their social and economic status. (Ashford L,
2002) Both maternal morbidity and mortality are estimated
to be highest in low- and middle-income countries, especially among the poorest
women. (Storeng KT, 2010)  

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The primary cause of death and
disability amongst women of reproductive age in developing countries is from the
problems that occur during pregnancy and childbirth. WHO estimate that almost
830 women needlessly die, every day, from pregnancy and childbirth.  Of which only 1% occur in developed
countries.  And the overwhelming 99% that
occur in the developing world is most prevalent in young adolescents living in
rural areas. (WHO, 2004).

Developed and developing countries had
similar rates of maternal mortality in the early 1900s (De Brouwere V,
1998).  However, as most
maternal deaths and injuries are avoidable, they have been largely eliminated
in the developed world.

These statistics validate that developed
countries and areas with higher income have more robust healthcare structure,
the required medical and health care staffing, have more advanced medical technology
and less barriers to overcome when trying to access medical care in comparison to
the developed world. The most common causation of maternal death in the third
world is obstetrical haemorrhage in comparison to thromboembolism in the
developed world.  

India and Nigeria make-up almost one
third of the maternal deaths in 2010. Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan,
Sudan, Indonesia, Ethiopia, United Republic of Tanzania, Bangladesh and
Afghanistan comprised between 3 and 5 percent of maternal deaths. With India
and Nigeria making up almost one third of the total maternal deaths in 2010.
All the above accounting for 60% of global maternal deaths (UNICEF, W. 2012).